London-based architect offering cash for land to build small windfarm

A London-based architect has turned his eye to Shetland in the hope he can snap up 40 acres of land to develop a small windfarm.

Nicholas Taylor, of family firm Shetland Aeolian, plans to install one or two 660 kilowatt turbines on a site somewhere in the isles.

Mr Taylor is counting on the sale of London properties to help take the project – instigated by his son, who is interested in renewables – further forward.

He is offering a £3,000 fee as an incentive, which the landowner could keep even if the windfarm does not progress.

Mr Taylor said he had already been approached with an offer of land in South Whiteness, although planning guidelines have deemed that unsuitable.

Another proposal concerns a site in Stromfirth, although Mr Taylor said that was to lease rather than sell the land.

The firm’s website states: “We would have to be sure that we could install these turbines on the chosen site.

“To this end, we would not complete the purchase of the land until we had received planning permission and the land had satisfied other technical requirements.

“In this preliminary phase, we would need the co-operation of the landowner and to ensure this we would pay a fee of £3,000.

“In the event that we did not receive planning permission or the project proved unworkable for other reasons, the purchase would not go ahead but the landowner would keep the £3,000.

“We are interested in speaking to anyone with suitable land who would consider selling it to us on these terms.”

He hopes to tap into the recently announced NINES “smart-grid” which is designed to overcome the local grid’s problems in dealing with more wind power – something which has previously denied local developers the chance to build their own turbines and earn an income by selling surplus energy to Scottish and Southern Energy.

Under the plans SSE will wire up Europe’s largest battery at Lerwick Power Station, which will store energy to stabilise fluctuations in supply and demand which the grid currently struggles to cope with.

The Aeolian plans follow similar proposals which emerged late last year to erect two new wind turbines at Scroo Hill near Cunningsburgh.

Mr Taylor admitted he had not yet visited the isles, although he hopes to come to Shetland during the summer months.

He said he had been impressed by the efficiency of the turbines at the Burradale windfarm, and has been attracted by the idea of harnessing one of Shetland’s greatest natural resources.

Born in Canada, Mr Taylor has lived in London since 1978 and now has dual Canadian and British citizenship.


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